Los Angeles Bonus Disputes Lawyer - Employment Attorneys for Bonus Disputes
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Bonus Disputes Attorneys in Los Angeles


Have you recently been denied bonuses entitled to you? In many cases, bonus compensation can account for the bulk of a person’s wages. While the details concerning bonuses and commissions vary depending on the employer, you are afforded legal rights regarding the payments owed to you.

Whether the dispute is the result of a layoff, termination, or other circumstance, you have legal rights to recover compensation in the state of California. Contact our team at the Law Offices of Mann & Elias to learn more about how our team can help you through a bonus dispute.


A bonus dispute often arises in the aftermath of a termination or layoff. In these cases, employers will sometimes fail to pay out bonus compensation owed to the employee or dramatically reduce the payment owed as a part of the separation or severance package.

Common disputes include issues like the following:

  • An employer withholds pay after an employee closes a sale, but the customer never pays for the product or service.
  • The company has unclear policies regarding what actions an employee must do to complete a deal.
  • Suppose the bonus formula gets based on meeting an annual target. What if the formula gets revised during the year?


While an employer is not required to offer any bonuses, once an employer promises a reward or has an existing bonus program, they may become obligated to pay employees who qualify. There are many factors to consider when it comes to your employer withholding bonuses, such as:

  • Contractual obligations
  • Discretionary bonuses
  • Non-discretionary bonuses
  • Bonuses paid timely
  • Bonuses after termination

Suppose any of these factors apply to you and have resulted in unpaid bonuses by your employer. In that case, it is vital to seek help from an employment attorney in Los Angeles as soon as possible to protect your rights and financial interests.


If you have met the requirements for a bonus, then you should receive it. The failure of your company to deliver is wrong and, in many cases, illegal. As an employee, to fully understand your rights, you should speak to an attorney specializing in bonus disputes to determine the enforceability of employee bonuses.

Perhaps an employer promised you a bonus they never paid, or you got terminated without receiving the extra payment. California courts will not assess bonus disputes the way they would for commission disputes. It depends on the language of your contract and other factors outside of performance.

Sales employees require a slightly different arrangement, as bonus payments are a part of their salary. It makes them susceptible to more financial loss if they take extended time off due to an illness. Because these types of cases can be very complex, it is in your best interest to consult with a bonus dispute lawyer in Los Angeles to protect your rights and obtain the compensation you deserve.


Bonuses get regulated by California’s wage and hour laws. The legal definition for bonus pay per the Department of Industrial Relations is “Money promised to an employee in addition to the monthly salary, hourly wage, commission or piece rate usually due as compensation. Bonuses are in addition to any other remuneration rate and may be predicted on performance over and above that which is paid for hours worked, pieces made, or sales completed.”

You can earn bonuses when an employee meets a criterion or contributes significantly to the company, like bringing in new clients.

Bonuses can also be unearned when they get provided for no reason other than to reward loyalty and a great work ethic.

Sometimes employers may opt to show their appreciation this way. However, if your employer has not come through with promised payment, refer to a legal professional to make sure that they are not violating your rights.


Bonus disputes could arise from several different issues or conflicts. Because each case is complicated and unique, you should avoid acting alone.

When searching for qualified legal representation, entrust a professional with prior experience handling bonus dispute litigation and understands the intricacies involved in employment law. According to California law, the first step is to examine the terms of the contract.

An enforceable bonus contract is usually explicitly spelled out in a company’s written policies, so the dispute is interpreted. At Mann & Elias, we can help you determine your rights regarding these rules and regulations.


Since 1998, The Law Offices of Mann & Elias have helped individuals just like you receive the benefits they deserve. We represent clients at every state and federal court system level in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, Orange, San Diego, and Ventura counties.

We know how to handle these cases best and get you the compensation you deserve. Call 323-866-9564 or email info@mannelias.com to schedule your first consultation.


Since Scott Mann and Imad Elias have founded the employment law firm, they have successfully recovered hundreds of claims resulting in over $18 million in settlements and verdicts. While there are thousands of lawyers to choose from, our success is rooted in:

  • 50+ years of trial experience
  • Excellent advocacy skills
  • Intense preparation and research
  • Quality care

Contact us today if you intend to file a claim against your employer. We charge no fee for the initial consultation, and all cases get handled on a contingency basis.


You have questions – we’ve got answers! Need more legal help? Check out a few of our legal articles below.

When Can Employers Prorate Bonus Payments Around FMLA Leave?
When you get offered a bonus for meeting performance standards, you must make every attempt to familiarize yourself with your company’s policy on leave time and how it can impact you.

While most companies do have their rules and regulations spelled out, others may not. Goal-oriented and performance-based bonuses make up a substantial part of the pay an employee receives.

If, for example, you took time off to take care of a family member on protected job leave, you should take legal action against your employer if they retaliated. There should be clear standards for how the bonus system works and how it will get calculated, so you get paid fairly. For more information, refer to When Can Employers Prorate Bonus Payments Around FMLA Leave.

What Goes into An Employment Contract And Why?
An employment contract is vital when prospective employees are gearing up to sign on and be a part of your team. It acts as legal protection when employers are making a job offer. The document should include information like:

  • Job descriptions
  • Compensation and benefits
  • Information regarding time off, sick days, and vacations
  • Schedule and employment period, if needed
  • Confidentiality agreement to protect the company

This article details what goes into an employment contract and how it protects you as an employee.


Why do companies provide bonuses?
Companies typically provide bonuses because it offers employees an additional incentive to help the business succeed. It follows the well-known mantra, “The company does well if you do well.” While it is not the only thing driving a thriving workforce, it plays a significant role.

What are the types of bonuses available to an employee?

  • Annual bonuses: based on company performance over the year
  • Sign-On bonus: offered at the start of employment
  • Performance-based bonus pay: distributed based on team efforts and company goals
  • Spot bonus awards: given for deserving achievements
  • Retention Bonus: Designed to keep on valuable workers
  • Referral Bonus: offered to employees that help onboard new talent
  • Holiday Bonus: companies may provide an extra boost during the holidays

Can bonuses be negotiated? 
It typically happens for those presented with a sign-on bonus. If you feel you deserve more, it is worth discussing with your employer! Conversations should happen before you sign a formal contract. Be mindful that addressing this question should not deter the company from paying you.

If I Quit, Do I Forfeit Bonuses Promised in Writing?
As the 2021 workforce shifts from in-office to remote, employees are beginning to re-evaluate their commitment to the company. Before you submit your two-week resignation, you should have a firm understanding of whether the company owes you a bonus. If you have to retrieve unpaid wages, this article serves as a great resource.

Are bonuses guaranteed?
No – bonuses are not promised. Although there is no federal law regarding bonuses, state laws mandate employers follow through with their verbal and contractual promises. There are two categories the rewards will fall into:
Discretionary bonuses – awarded by an employer, not stipulated in your contract, and not guaranteed
Non-discretionary bonuses – provided by the company, outlined in your contract, provided if you meet specific criteria

How might I receive my bonus?
Bonuses might get paid to you in the form of a separate check, cash, or other types of monetary forms. As long as it is the value specified by the employer, it would be considered a bonus.

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